I stood on the red brick sidewalk looking in amazement at the antiquated house across the street. Gray wooden boards and a brick chimney comprised the main body of the drab, rectangular house, and simple glass windows were its only accoutrements. I looked to the right of the tiny, cramped dwelling. A towering apartment complex of sleek steel loomed high above the modest house. How could such obvious foils coexist on the same sidewalk? I was surprised to discover that these two structures are actually more closely linked than would at first appear. They complement each other beautifully in a city of both historical heritage and lively modernity: Boston.
The dilapidated house is not a random anomaly in the high-tech city; it is the former home of Paul Revere. My family and I toured this historic house during a recent vacation and also visited the Old North Church where Paul Revere arranged to hang two lanterns to warn of a British invasion. Fortunately, other historic sites have also been preserved in Boston, Massachusetts and are linked by a bright red line painted on the sidewalk called the Freedom Trail. This path, which I learned about on the website City of Boston.gov at http://www.cityofboston.gov/freedomtrail/, conveniently allows tourists to experience the city as the colonists knew it in the early America. By following the Freedom Trail my family and I saw the common squares where the citizens met to discuss current events, the harbor where they protested British rule with the Boston Tea Party, and the monument commemorating the battle they fought for freedom on Bunker Hill.
These testaments to a previous time provided new insight into the lifestyle of early Americans. Standing in the very streets and buildings where the leaders of the American Revolution stood over two centuries ago, I realized that these men were not superheroes. They were just regular people who did some extraordinary things. The patriots of the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill were ordinary people who had a dream for a better future and fought to defend it. The historic sites in Boston filled me with inspiration that I too could stand up for what I believe to help my dreams become reality.
If the revolutionaries of the eighteenth century could see the modern day results of their efforts, I believe they would not be disappointed. While parts of Boston have been preserved in honor of the great deeds of the past, the rest of the city is focused on the accomplishments of the future. Immense business offices and intricate systems of roads mark Boston as a center of technology and progress. The massive structures in the large city were a stark contrast to those in my home town in northern Indiana. The towering buildings, graceful bridges, and rushing people opened my eyes to the true magnitude of the world. Visiting Boston changed my perception of life by showing me that there are places where motivated people work daily to change the world in a fast-paced environment.
Boston is living proof that the actions of ordinary individuals can greatly impact the course of history. The antique house on a narrow brick road and the looming edifice of glass and steel adjacent to it are really not so contradictory after all. They are woven, past and future, in the dynamic, motivational tapestry of the city of Boston.
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